Tutorial: Floral Hankie Baby Bonnet

The hankie to baby bonnet refashion is nothing new, but most tutorials are for small white, new, handkerchiefs with poems attached and such. In my hankie collection, my favorites are the beautiful florals but hey tend to be larger in size. I created a simple way to “shrink” these larger hankies to make unique baby bonnets that makes a perfect baby gifts, nursery decorations, and heirlooms.

TUTORIAL (for personal use only)

Find a hankie. Scour thrift stores, go to estate sales, ask your grandma. If you really get desperate, you can always find them on etsy and ebay. A great price is 25 cents. A good price is $1. If you have to pay more than $2, makes sure it’s in great condition and you love it.

The hankie I chose is 15″ x 15″ with a scalloped edge.

Fold one edge in about 3″ and press. This will be the back of your bonnet.

Fold opposite edge in about 4 1/2″ and press. No matter the size of your hankie, you want to make this fold large enough so the width equals about 6 1/2″. This fold will be the front of the bonnet. Hankie will overlap.

Sew parallel tucks in the front bonnet big enough so the pieces do not overlap anymore. I sewed 3 – 1/4″ tucks.

Press tucks away from bonnet front edge.

On the back edge of bonnet, sew two rows of gathering stitches 1/8″ and 1/4″ away from folded edge through both layers.

Pull gathering stitches as tight as possible. Tie thread in a square knot to hold in place.

Run a regular stitch around newly formed back bonnet circle (right on top of gathering stitch) to secure gathers in place.

To give the bonnet more shape, run two gathering stitches (1/4″ apart) along front bottom of bonnet on each side. For a 15″ hankie, place first row of stitches 1 1/2″ up from bottom edge.

Pull threads to gather.

Secure gathers in place by topstitching along stitch lines on each side.

Add ribbon tie to each side to create bonnet ties.

Now you’ve refashioned your hankie.


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Come realizzare delle cuffiette per carnevale: tutorial
February 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca August 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Hi there! Used your tutorial to make my very own, super classy vintage baby bonnet and wanted to thank you for your tute.

I blogged some photos of my blue and white version and linked to your tutorial on this post:


Thanks again! Loved it!


Paula Rehfield September 14, 2010 at 8:40 am

I have tried to make one from a sample unsuccessfully. I loved your step by step instructions. Also loved the colored vintage hankies. My boss and his wife (Children’s Minister) are expecting in October and I am excited to make one for them. Thank you! Paula


Croatia October 1, 2010 at 12:32 am

Excellent article, plenty of good quality info. I am going to point out to my friend and ask them the things they think.


Meg October 15, 2010 at 11:43 am

Thank you for this tutorial. I just made one for my friend’s baby girl, and I love how it turned out. I plan on making more!


Linda Kay Murphy October 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

love the bonnet will make one each for my week old granddaughter and great-GD that is expected anytime now….. thank you


pat aid May 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm

i would love to have that pattern how can i get one i’d love to make one for my granddaughter that’s on the way thanks pat


Barbara January 2, 2012 at 7:32 am

I love this! Gave out vintage hankie’s at my daughters wedding and have several left….would love to make some bonnet’s for her girlfriends having babies now! How can I print the directions to be able to have them at hand to figure out exactly how it’s done? Great idea!!!


This is Carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

What a great idea Barbara! I dont’ have the directions in an easily downloadable pdf version (although doing that for all my tutorials is on my “to do” list). I think the easiest way would be to Copy and paste the tutorial from the site into a word document. You might have to do some formatting, but that’s what I would do. Have fun with the project!


bethany August 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I really wish someone would put the innstructions on utube. I learn so much better by watching a video. Please


Donna Kelly April 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm

I made this lovely hankie bonnet and added tatting around the edges.


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I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!


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This is so adorable. Thanks for sharing with us:)


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Jolene Elm February 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

These instructions are exactly what I needed for my daughter who is expecting my little granddaughter in May 2013. I have obtained a multitude of vintage and antique hankies which belonged to my mother, my grandmother and my great-grandmother. I plan to make several for my little grand baby. Thank you so much for posting these step by step instructions.


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Judy gearhart September 13, 2014 at 7:39 pm

do you have the little Poe, that goes with the bonnet. There is one for the girl and one foro the boy. The boy,s ostates that tear it apart and he is to govern to to the women he going to Marry.


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